‘Wife of Jesus’ reference in Coptic 4th Century script

40

An ancient scrap of papyrus makes explicit reference to Jesus having a wife, according to a renowned expert in Christian history.


Harvard divinity professor Karen King unveiled the 4th-Century Coptic script at a conference in Rome.

She said researchers had identified the words “Jesus said to them, ‘my wife’”, which might refer to Mary Magdalene.

Christian tradition holds that Jesus did not marry – but Ms King said in early years it was subject to debate.

The provocative find could spark debate over celibacy and the role of women within Christianity, she added.

But the announcement sparked scepticism from some theologians.

Jim West, a professor and Baptist pastor in Tennessee, said: “A statement on a papyrus fragment isn’t proof of anything. It’s nothing more than a statement ‘in thin air’, without substantial context.”


continue to source article at bbc.co.uk

40 COMMENTS

  1. “The provocative find could spark debate over celibacy and the role of women within Christianity, she added.”

    Call me a cynic but I think if a global pedophilia scandal couldn’t spark a debate I doubt this will. In any case though I rather agree with Minister West, people wrote all sorts of things about Jesus, some of which were probably true but most of which weren’t. One scrap that says he was married by itself isn’t very conclusive.

  2. meaningless. Jim West is right. Even if there were context, it would be meaningless.

    Harry Potter had a boy friend.
     
    ‘Boy friend of Harry’ reference in English 21st Century online post

    so what

  3. This is old news. People have been saying Jesus was married to Mary Magdalene for many years now.  The DaVinci Code sparked some controversy over this idea. The dead sea scrolls also drummed up some issues. People argued that Jesus was essentially a Rabbi so it would make sense that he was married…. As a kid I asked my mother why Mary Magdalene was at the foot of the cross. I could understand his mother, but why this woman? It’s still questionable if ANY of this is true at all

    Yep, You’ve got to love the pastor’s comment.

  4. It may be that Jesus was an aspiring stand-up and this was the beginning of a joke he was trying to tell: “Jesus said to them, ‘my wife….my wife is sooo fat.’ “

    The next line in the script probably translates as: “and lo, his disciples responded, ‘How fat is she, Jesus?!!’ “

  5. „A statement on a papyrus fragment isn’t proof of anything“,…
    ha,ha,ha,ha,… this one is good! And that one about CONTEXT. Well, whole bible is
    a context created especially to support a worthless fragments of made up story
    about Jesus. That person they call Jesus never existed! :)

  6.  There might have been a real person to whom the various myths, prophecies and legends became attached. In other words, Christ’s historical status is the same as that of King Arthur or Robin Hood.

  7. But the announcement sparked scepticism from some theologians. 

    Spoiiing! Spoiiing! 
    Spoiiing! Spoiiing! 
    Spoiiing! Spoiiing! …..

    Jim West, a professor and Baptist pastor in Tennessee, said: “A statement on a papyrus fragment isn’t proof of anything. It’s nothing more than a statement ‘in thin air’, without substantial context.”

    Spoiiing! Spoiiing!  Spoiiing! Spoiiing! Spoiiing! Spoiiing! Spoiiing! Spoiiing! Spoiiing! Spoiiing!…..

    Oh, ffs….there’s a years supply of good meters just went off.

  8. So, if Jesus had no physical father and was the result of parthenogenesis and therefore must have been female, and was married to a woman, does this undermine the church’s opposition to gay marriage?

  9. phill marston

    So,
    if Jesus had no physical father and was the result of parthenogenesis
    and therefore must have been female, and was married to a woman, does
    this undermine the church’s opposition to gay marriage?

     
    No.

    Anvil.

  10. All hail Jim West, the greatest comedian of our time and sadly denied the recognition he deserves until now.    A change of career is obviously called for.   Jim you’re wasting your talents in the church, you should try stand up

  11. So,the real question might be….was Jesus gay?
    He had 12 MALE disciples right?He obviously preferred the company of men.
    But then again,he may have experimented with a couple of hoes, i.e.Mary magdalene

  12. Jim West, a professor and Baptist pastor in Tennessee, said: “A statement on a papyrus fragment isn’t proof of anything. It’s nothing more than a statement ‘in thin air’, without substantial context.

    I know it has been pointed out several time, but the irony is killer. Got to be Quote of The Year.

  13. “Jim West, a professor and Baptist pastor in Tennessee, said: “A
    statement on a papyrus fragment isn’t proof of anything. It’s nothing
    more than a statement ‘in thin air’, without substantial context.” “

    You have to love how this guy says it with a straight face without even a hint of irony.

  14. I was of the understanding that there are other references in gospels discarded by the council of Nicea that back up this new evidence such as the Gospel of Phillip and even one by Mary Magdalene.

    Then Jim West, a professor and Baptist pastor in Tennessee, said: “A statement on a papyrus fragment isn’t proof of anything. It’s nothing more than a statement ‘in thin air’, without substantial context.” However are not all the gospels not proof of anything.

    To me religion is the curse of a thinking mind as the mind invents what it does not know. So religion is a distraction that the human race could well have done without but because of the curse could never have by passed.

  15.  “So,the real question might be….was Jesus gay?”

    Actually, I read a book where this issue was raised for real. The “Gnostic gospels” are alternative stories about the life of Jesus that were classified as blasphemy by the Catholic church.  Most of the manuscripts (and even some of the authors) were burned but fragments survive, a big stash was found buried in a cave in the desert back, I think it was in the 1950′s or so.  In one of them Jesus is talking about Mary Magdalene to his disciples and asks the questions “why do you not love me as she does?” I read one person, think it was Elaine Pagels but it was a long time ago so not sure, who speculated that at least in the mind of the author of this Gospel sex was a holy sacrament and Jesus was admonishing his male disciples for not sharing it with him the way Mary M. did.

    Of course just because some guy liked sex and wanted it in a Gospel doesn’t mean it reflects a true story about Jesus. But I did find it interesting that the church may have even been fighting gayness all the way back at their very beginning.

  16. Epikuros
    I was of the understanding that there are other references in gospels discarded by the council of Nicea that back up this new evidence such as the Gospel of Phillip and even one by Mary Magdalene.

     

    Yes there are details of them 0n-line – with links to some others from the Wiki pages:- 

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/G… –   The Gospel of Mary is an apocryphal book discovered in 1896 in a 5th-century papyrus codex. The codex Papyrus Berolinensis 8502 was purchased in Cairo by German scholar Karl Reinhardt. 

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/G
    Gospel of Philip – The Gospel of Philip is one of the Gnostic Gospels, a text of New Testament apocrypha, dating back to around the third century but lost to modern researchers
    until an Egyptian peasant rediscovered it by accident, buried in a cave near Nag Hammadi, in 1945

    A single manuscript of the Gospel of Philip, in Coptic (CG II), was found in the Nag Hammadi library, a cache of documents that was secreted in a jar and buried in the Egyptian desert at the end of the fourth century. The text was bound in the same codex that contained the better-known Gospel of Thomas. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/G

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/G… The Gospel of Judas is a Gnostic gospel whose content consists of conversations between the Disciple Judas Iscariot and Jesus Christ.

    The Gospel of Judas consists of 16 chapters which document Jesus’s teaching about spiritual matters and cosmology. Judas is the hero of this Gospel and the only one of Jesus’s disciples who accurately understands the words of his master. This Gospel contains few narrative elements; essentially, the Gospel records how Judas was taught by Jesus the true meaning of his message, and was then stoned to death by the other disciples.

    The Gospel contains ideas which contradicted those circulating in the early Christian church.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/F

  17. I would also like to say
    what I think about Jesus homosexuality, being aware that this is not a topic
    here. It was considered some time ago on this forum. But I see some comments
    about it, so I would like to contribute. I’m gay and I also thought (20 years
    ago) that Jesus was gay, and I believe that every gay person on this planet at
    least ones thought that Jesus was gay. I’m an artist, I paint. And of course I
    was interested to see John painted as a woman in the picture Cenacolo (the Last
    Supper), it is also at the beginning of the nineties that this was an
    interesting topic of Italian art historian, but I did not get any other information
    about their findings because then the war started in my country. I see that
    this topic was again initiated by Dan Brown. To my knowledge, no one but
    Leonardo painted John as a woman, and because Leonardo was gay, I’m not
    surprised. :)  I do not know if he wanted to point to a quote in the gospel of
    John, which says: “John was the pupil whom Jesus loved the most,” …so
    not liked but loved. But as the figure of Jesus for me is a complete fabrication
    and marketing trick of christianity and the gospels are nothing but fictional
    stories, I can not rely on it. I think that Leonardo simply wanted to show that
    love has no boundaries, that love knows no imposed social roles. :) Although the bible
    says that god loves all people, and Jesus as his incarnation also loves all
    people, it is difficult for the individual to love all people on the planet
    because it means in other words that he does not love anybody. One can not love
    everyone. On the other hand this philosophy that Jesus loves all maybe was
    attempt to show that this person is special and elusive in that tremendous love
    that posses, and therefore unique. 

    PS: I don’t respect religion so I don’t wright capital letters for words like bible, god etc. :)

  18. Just an opinion to start: Dan Brown’s writing is garbage. He’s not a very good fiction writer and his conspiracy stuff is nonsense, the only good thing about it is it made people remember things like the Gnostic gospels.

    On the question of the historical Jesus, this is something that comes up a lot. There are a lot of atheists who believe with  certainty that Jesus never existed and there are lots of web sites out there that put forth all sorts of “evidence” to support this theory. The problem is most of them don’t know what they are talking about and aren’t qualified as experts on the topic.

    Someone who does know what he is talking about is Bart Ehrman. He wrote an excellent book about the contradictions in the bible called Jesus Interrupted. I think all atheists would like this book. He demonstrates how the basic stories told in the gospels contradict each other (e.g. where was Jesus born, how did he come to be born there) and he explains why they do. To begin with the gospel authors aren’t the actual disciples that was a common ancient literary device, to put your words into an historical figure, Plato did it as well, and they have very different agendas, some wanted to convert Pagans to Christianity so they made Jesus sound like a Roman hero (divine father, miraculous birth)  others wanted to convert Jews so they made Jesus fulfill prophesies about the messiah.

    But Ehrman, and most serious biblical scholars (also Elaine Pagels, another author I like a lot) do think there was a historical person named Jesus who was a Jewish teacher and was put to death  by crucifixion. He describes the reasons why he thinks that (and totally demolishes the various theories that  claim he didn’t) in another book:  Did Jesus Exist? The search for the historical Jesus.

    http://www.amazon.com/Did-Jesu

    I think Ehrman states his case a little too strongly but I mostly agree with him. Unlike him I wouldn’t go quite so far as to say Jesus definitely existed, no possible alternative. But I would say that based on the evidence and the standards we use for other historical figures it is very likely he did.  Again, I think the analogy with Plato and Socrates is useful. It is conceivable that Socrates never existed, that Plato just made him up (Socrates like Jesus never wrote anything himself) but just as most Greek scholars think Socrates did exist most biblical scholars think Jesus did as well.

    Oh, and just to be clear, when I say a person named Jesus existed that doesn’t mean I think he was born of a virgin, or performed miracles, etc.

  19. Dan Brown will be enjoying a much improved bank balance if this gains a wider
    audience of the chattering classes, as for  Michael Baigent, Richard Leigh, and Henry Lincoln well
    a certain collective shit eating grin would not be unexpected after
    all this time.

  20.  

    roedygreen,
    The pope has declared the papyrus a fake on the grounds it was
    purchased on the market without a known archaeological provenance. His
    standards are going up.

    Perhaps he is going to produce some of his “genuine ones” -  you know – written by the authors whose names are on them, and written at the time of alleged events!

    Oh dear!  It seems he can’t!!  – Surely they can’t ALL be fakes?????????? Or can they?????

Leave a Reply